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Bushfire smoke

It’s important to reduce your exposure to bushfire smoke and take steps to protect your health.

  • Avoid outdoor activity. If you must go outside, spend as little time outside as possible.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a mask or damp cloth to reduce exposure to dust particles. A P2 or P3 mask, available from hardware stores, should block even the finest particles if fitted correctly over the nose and mouth.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise, especially if you have asthma, diabetes or a breathing-related condition.
  • Stay indoors, with windows and doors closed.
  • Stay in air-conditioned premises, if possible.

If you are an asthmatic or have a respiratory condition and you develop symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, or chest pain, follow your prescribed treatment plan. If symptoms do not settle, seek medical advice.

You can monitor current and forecast air quality readings at the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website, as well as get a guide on what activities you can do.

For more information about protecting yourself from smoke, visit the NSW Health Bushfire Smoke website.

For more information about wearing a mask, read the Bushfire smoke and masks factsheet or P2 Mask page on the NSW Health website.

Illness, injury and managing medications

Adhere to advice from NSW Health about bushfire related illness and injuries including smoke irritation, asthma, and burns, as well as what to do if you are in a bushfire affected area and don’t have access to or have lost your medication or prescription.

Steps to stay safe

Make a bushfire survival plan so you know what to do if a bushfire threatens your home.

Remain cautious and monitor the status of ‘Fires Near Me’ using the NSW Rural Fire Service website or smartphone app.

Avoid all non-essential travel if commuting from or through bushfire affected areas or areas where there is an increased risk of bushfire. Check fire danger ratings and alerts before you get on the road.

Before travelling, check for road closures or changes in road conditions on Live Traffic NSW.

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Last updated: 15 Jan 2020
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